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With three weeks to go until the official festive season kick-off, a line-up of top African artists has been confirmed for the switch-on of the festive lights event to take place at the Grand Parade on Sunday 4 December 2016. This includes chart-topping hip-hop artist AKA and South Africa’s internationally acclaimed DJ, Black Coffee, as headline acts.

Also on the bill are top Cape Town artists including legendary DJ Ready D, MCs Soli Philander and Shaleen Surtie-Richards, charting artists Matthew Gold, DJ Lance Theron and Candice Thornton, George Werner’s Cape Town Jazz Legends, Karin Kortje, Robin Pieters from The Voice SA fame, the children of the late Taliep Petersen, and Afrikaans superstar Kurt Darren. They will be joined by the winners of the Festive Lights Challenge currently running on

This is without doubt one of the most exciting artist line-ups yet for the festive lights switch-on event and presents artists from across all genres – from international superstars to the latest discovery. As a family event which sets off the festive season, this event has it all.

For multi award-winning, chart topping artist, AKA, this is also a home-coming as the artist born Kiernan Forbes returns to the city of his birth for the traditional festive season opener in Cape Town.‘I’m excited to be coming home and looking forward to perform for my fans in the Mother City who really are like family to me,’ says AKA, whose latest hits include ‘One Time’ and ‘Dream Work’.

Straight from international stages such as Ultra Miami, Coachella (California) and Ibiza, Black Coffee brings his inimitable house sound to the festive lights switch-on for the first time. This year Black Coffee collected the award for the Best International Act: Africa at the BET Awards 2016 held in Los Angeles – he is the first South African to do so.

Black Coffee also has a Cape Town connection as, along with South African DJ legend and hip-hop pioneer, DJ Ready D, the duo committed their star power to a good cause by joining with the SAE institute in Cape Town in 2014 to provide opportunities for young musicians to attend a year-long course in sound engineering and music production.

Along with a high-tech stage in front of City Hall, a video mapping experience, and the entertainment line-up, I am excited to once again lead the festive lights countdown amid an explosion of music, dance, lasers and staging effects, culminating later in the video mapping of the City Hall façade.

Meanwhile, the search for Cape Town’s next big music act is currently taking place online in the Festive Lights Challenge on – a new social video talent platform which has launched in South Africa.

With just under one week to go until entries close, I call on the many talented residents to enter the challenge online and stand a chance to perform in front of 80 000 people and win a R10 000 grand prize.

On, talented artists participate in challenges by uploading their videos and then sharing their entries across all their social media platforms in an effort to attract likes. The website’s unique algorithm then aggregates likes across all platforms, resulting in an artist’s standing on the ‘buzz meter’, with the winner attracting the most ‘buzz points’.

The theme of this year’s festive lights switch-on event is ‘City of ideas – Let’s get on with it Cape Town’ and celebrations at Cape Town’s largest free, open-air public event on 4 December 2016 start at 16:00 on the Grand Parade and finish at 22:00.

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